5 things I wish I knew before using LinkedIn in my job search
While it might not be the most attractive social media network to engage, LinkedIn is certainly one of the most businesses oriented and as such a good tool to use for personal branding. When job hunting, remember the power of your on-line presence and think how different social media platforms can help you create your professional profile. With the 5 tips below CareerProfessor helps you to develop an effective LinkedIn profile:
Fully develop your profile
After you create your account, you can access and edit your profile. LinkedIn offers you different sections for you to update, similar to the ones you have to complete for your CV. Make sure to fully develop your profile. List both your current and past professional experiences, with a clear description of your role and main responsibilities. Do include your academic background and your knowledge level of languages (do not forget to list your native language!).
Photo and Professional headline
Include a recent professional photo of yourself. No that nice picture with sunglasses on your head is not suitable!! Although this step seems easy, you should never think it is of minor importance. People like to associate a certain profile with a face; not to mention the fact that it is easier for them to remember you. Referring to the headline box, it appears directly under your name. Many users overlook its importance, but it is an effective way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by recruiters. Use keywords that characterise you and your skills and describe your added value.
Do not leave blank your LinkedIn summary
Leaving your summary section of your profile blank is a big no-no that you should avoid. Your summary describes, in a nutshell, your professional experience, core competencies, and personal traits. It is the point in your profile where you have to promote yourself and generate the viewer’s interest. Describe in a concise way your strongest career points and explain your key differentiators. Try to be authentic and avoid clichés. It should not be boring (who wants to recruit a boring person?) but do not go over the top either. Remember, it is a professional network.
Share your accomplishments
Simply stating your role and responsibilities within an organisation is not enough to stand out. Professionals with a similar job title are likely to have similar profile descriptions. In order for you to stand out and showcase the unique skills you can bring, you are advised to list your accomplishments in each specific role. A nice way to do so is to write your story in an interesting way, capture the attention, and list 3 of your major achievements in bullet points. Try to quantify achievements, which help people to better capture your performance. And do remember to make it short and sweet: it is unlikely recruiters will read a 4 page long LinkedIn profile.
Never exaggerate or lie about your skills
It is to your benefit to highlight your self-confidence and can-do mentality. Yet, you should not exaggerate this! Be honest and only list those skills and qualifications that you actually possess. Lying in your profile is for sure not an effective way to enhance your on-line presence: you will be found out! LinkedIn is publicly accessible; certainly for recruiters that have opted for the paid service of LinkedIn (they will be able to see your profile even without being your connection!).
Do you know the 5 buzzwords you need to avoid in order to boost your chances of landing a job interview? Read our previous blog on 5 things I wish I knew before: putting these words on my CV.
Nannette Ripmeester & Theodoros Palaiopoulos
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